Hi there, and welcome to the first Midweek Marijuana Law Review.
As most folks in Vermont and Bennington probably now know: marijuana will be
legal (extensively decriminalized) for adults over the age of 21 to consume privately starting July of 2018.
There are quite a few misconceptions about H. 511, the legislation signed into law by Governor Phil Scott back in January, so we here at Alliance for Community Transformations wish to clear the air.
With our new series, ACT’s going to delve into the text of the bill itself and try to give you the tools you need to navigate this confusing bill leading up to H. 511’s enactment on July 1, 2018.
Without further adieu let’s start our first Midweek Marijuana Law Review and address the earlier strike through. Many news sources have called this bill a marijuana legalization bill, that’s only half true.
While the bill does remove a number of penalties for personal use by adults over the age of 21, which we’ll discuss in a later posts, H. 511 does not fully address the issue of sales, commercial or otherwise. And it leaves Vermont in a strange grey area.
It should be noted that an Advisory Committee will report on licencing a marijuana market in the state, and must address concerns of substance prevention, education, and highway safety. The report is not due until December 2018.
On the issue of further legalization efforts and the committee report, Governor Scott said, “There must be comprehensive and convincing plans completed in these areas before I will begin to consider the wisdom of implementing a commercial “tax and regulate” system for an adult marijuana market… until we have a workable plan to address each of these concerns, I will veto any additional effort along these lines…”
Until then, sales of marijuana that are not made by a state-licensed dispensary to a patient enrolled in the medical marijuana program will still be subject to penalties.
Stay tuned for future installments…